Audi has announced the E-Tron Sportback, which is a fully electric SUV coupé with a slightly longer range than its stablemate E-Tron 55 Quattro and will be available first in Europe starting at €71,350 ($A116,370 converted).
Audi had first given a “concept” glimpse of the e-tron Sportback in 2017, and unveiled the production version of the car, which has up to 446km driving range in the WLTP cycle and a top speed of 190km/hr, at the LA Auto Show on Wednesday (US time).
Reminiscent of Audi’s A7, the e-tron Sportback is sleeker and longer than the the electric e-tron Quattro SUV, coming in at almost 5 metres long and with the 1.6m low profile typical of the coupé style.
It’s this lower profile that Audi credits for the 10 extra kilometres of driving range for the Audi e-tron Sportback – over the Audi e-tron 55 Quattro SUV.
The 55 Quattro offers 265kW of power (up to 300kW in boost mode) with acceleration from 0-100km/hr in 6.8 seconds, whereas the 50 Quattro version offers just 230kW power.
Accordingly, the Sportback 55 Quattro also has a larger battery with 95kWh consisting of 36 modules. each containing twelve pouch cells.
In the smaller 50-Quattro model, just 27 modules provide 71kWh energy, thus providing 347km driving range under the WLTP cycle.
Charging also differs between the two, with a maximum of 150kW charging rate for the 55 Quattro and 120kW for the 50 Quattro, giving the same charging time for both (30 minutes from 0-80%) at a DC fast-charger given the different size in batteries.
Using an AC charger at home or at a destination such as work or shopping centre, the on-board charger allows for up to 11kW charging rate although from the European summer of 2020, an optional second onboard charger doubling the charging rate to 22kW will also be available.
With a wheelbase of 2.9 meters, the E-Tron Sportback offers up to five passengers including plenty of luggage space.
A volume of 615 litre is available for storage space, including a 60 litre storage compartment under the “frunk” (the front trunk space afforded by the absence of an engine), and by folding the backrests of the rear seats, the storage space increases to 1,655 litres.
Inside, dual touchscreens (12.1 inches and 8.6-inches) are integrated into the dash offering controls for infotainment, telephony, navigation and special e-tron settings in the larger screen and text input, control, comfort functions and air conditioning in the smaller display.
Standard LED headlights can be upgraded to a new digital matrix LED light, which use DMD technology (Digital Micromirror Device) to create special graphics when required such as roadside guidance.
Like the first E-Tron, the Sportback model will be made in Brussels, with the market launch of the new model scheduled for spring 2020 in Europe.
The German carmaker plans to celebrate the market launch of the e-tron Sportback with a special first edition “Edition One” that will be available in plasma blue with virtual exterior mirrors, attachments finished in an aluminum look, exclusive 21-inch wheels, orange brake calipers, and a panoramic glass sunroof.
Audi says that it is planning to open reservations by the end of November. Prices for the 55 Quattro and the limited edition “Edition One” are not yet known.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.